Israel’s chief rabbis received death threats in letters to their offices warning them to allow the Women of the Wall to pray “in accordance with our customs.”
The letters, headlined “This is a last warning,” were delivered Monday to the offices of Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar. A complaint was filed with the security officer of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, said rabbis must weigh whether to oppose a compromise proposal over egalitarian prayer at Judaism's holiest site.
In a statement Thursday, Rabinowitz vowed to fight against "the slightest deviation" from customary practice at the Western Wall. However, he left unclear whether the compromise forged by Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky, which would create a permanent site for egalitarian prayer at a section of the Western Wall called Robinson's Arch, constituted such a deviation.
Jerusalem police arrested and detained four women for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall.
The women, members of Women of the Wall, were arrested Sunday during morning prayers, which included special prayers for the new Hebrew month of Elul.
Women of the Wall holds a special prayer service at the Western Wall each month for Rosh Chodesh, or the beginning of new month. The group has met once a month at the back of the women's section at the Western Wall for the last 20 years.